"Wherefore, whithersoever they shall send you, go ye, and I will be with you; and in whatsoever place ye shall
proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word."
- Doctrine & Covenants 112:19

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

(No Title)

This has been such a great week! I have never been so tired in my life, which means it's the best!

On Thursday, we covered at the Humanitarian Center, where all day from 10-4 we had no tours!! It was lame. So we called investigators and took chats. We taught one of Sister Weidmann's German investigators named Pascal. He's pretty cool. He has some great questions and is open to learning more. Sister Weidmann was telling me that most Germans and Swiss people are all the same, that they don't believe in God and don't really see a reason for believing in God, so it's rare that Pascal would be so interested. He us a little stubborn though, so we have been praying for his heart to be softened.

We also taught this guy named Santiago, who Sister Weidmann and her previous companion were working with. He goes to Sacrament Meeting every week and meets with missionaries. He is extremely stubborn, and anything we try to say he just automatically disagrees with. He kinda just believes that all paths lead to Heaven, no matter which church you're in. Every time we testify of the restoration and the spirit is strong, he just interrupts. So we have been praying for him that his heart will be softened as well, and that he will be open to understanding baptism in the restored church. So we'll see!

Lauren (the truckdriver) dropped us this week. She said that she's at a point in her life that she just can't be open minded right now and that she needs to focus on her family. Ah I was so sad. But it's okay, because I guess it's just not her time right now. I think it will be good fer her to have a little time without the Gospel in her life, so she can feel an absence. Then, when missionaries find her in the future, they will have a gold mine! :) She is such an awesome girl, I feel so lucky I got to be a part of teaching her, even if it was just for a little while.

We were in the teaching center one day when I really felt like we needed to call Kurk, one of the contacts in my online area book. He was just a typical person that had called in for a free DVD, most times they don't really pan out so we usually don't put them on our high priority list unless they are really interested. We had called him before but he was at work and didn't sound interested. Well we called, and asked if he got the DVD. He said that he had, and that his family had watched it with the missionaries! We started talking about what he thought about it, and started teaching him a little. Well we had a great conversation and he actually wants to learn more. And at the end he said, well I am actually at work right now, and we apologized but he said, oh no don't worry, I'm happy to talk. That was such a learning experience for me to not doubt anything! And to take advantage of any opportunity to ask people if they are interested in learning more because you just never know. We had another appointment with him but he was working and couldn't get off the phone with the vendor, so we'll call him this week.

We also found a new Investigator on chat, Kuixie (originally from China). She had come on for some typical questions, but we wanted to teach her about the Book of Mormon because we know it could help her, since she already believed in the Bible. It was exactly what she needed and she is so excited to read the Book of Mormon now.

On Sunday, we met a member Jaime on chat. She said she was really struggling after returning from a mission, and that she was feeling her testimony slipping away. We asked to call her and she gave her phone number. We called and had the best conversation with her. Really, she taught herself. We didn't teach her a thing. We asked her about the mission, and the times that she felt the spirit the strongest the time when it was the hardest, and what she would tell one of her investigators if they were going through what she is going through. She said she would tell them to hold on, and to not stop doing the little things like going to church and praying and reading the scriptures. She taught herself exactly what she needs to do. She has had a hard life but she is so strong. She was going to come to Temple Square for a lesson, but then we found out she lives 3 hours away! And she was just going to come up anyway. We told her not to because that's so far. So we called her for another lesson. It went really well and the spirit was strong. We talked about the scripture in Luke 22: 31-32: 31 ¶And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

That's one of my favorite scriptures. The Lord is always praying for us, and wants us to be converted. It's so important. The lesson went so well, and she is planning on being in SLC in the next couple weeks, so she will come to Temple Square! She knows that she needs to be converted, and that's what she is going to do.

Sunday night, we talked to this guy Tom outside the Tabernacle. He had met with missionaries and read parts of the Book of Mormon. We talked for a long time, and I know he felt the spirit. But, he didn't want to continue to learn more. He too felt that all religions are right.

We talked to someone yesterday in the same spot outside the Tabernacle and had almost the same conversation. He works for the church and has heard a lot about it, but is not a member. We had a GREAT conversation with him and he really liked learning about what the Temple is used for, because his family is so important to him. We taught about the Book of Mormon and gave him a free download card. He was so excited! He said it was perfect to read on the plane while he is traveling. He promised to read it. He was here for business and waiting to meet someone that was late. Right as we were inviting him to meet with missionaries and to teach him more, the guy walked up. We tried to ask but he said, I have to go. Ah, the timing of Satan. Gosh it was so hard! But we really know that he will get baptized one day because his heart was touched, knowing that he could be sealed to his family for eternity, regardless of what happens in this life.

Today, we talked to these great guys from Brazil! A father and a son. Their English was pretty scattered but we showed them the Temple Model and talked to them for a long time. They don't really like their Catholic religion, and they liked the things we shared with them. They had seen Temples in Brazil but didn't know what they were for. Family is so important to them, and they loved that they could be sealed to their family. They didn't want to give their address for local missionaries (I can't blame them, if I was a visitor in another country, I wouldn't want to give my address), but they promised that when they see missionaries again, they will let them in and listen to them. I know they will be baptized one day! I can just see them being sealed in white.

It's so great to do missionary work, I love being a missionary here. I know that Temple Square is a start to many, many people's testimonies and I'm so glad I get to be a part of that.

Hope you have a great week, love you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Don't be so faithless..."

A new transfer!
This is going to be a good one. My new companion is Sister Weidmann, she's from Switzerland! We will be serving in the Beehive House. That should be interesting since neither of us have served there haha but we're actually really excited. I think it will be a lot of fun! I attached a picture of Sister Ichikawa and I and a picture of Sister Weidmann and I too.

Well we had a great week. It's been filled with pre-transfer things. It's really weird to see these sisters leave because I am so close to a lot of them, and that means that we are the next ones to go. It's a strange feeling. I'm just so grateful I have another transfer I can just focus on missionary work and nothing else!

In one of the Sisters' departing testimonies, she told us something that her mission president outbound had told her. She said: "Don't be so faithless that you have to see the results of your efforts." I think that hit a lot of us hard! Frequently we are told that doing this or that will bring miracles, and so we expect that. We think, if I work my hardest and give it my all, Heavenly Father will reward us. But that's not the case. He has a greater vision for us. On Sunday, I had to give my departing talk (my class is so big we already had to start so we could get to everyone). My topic was about Elder Oaks' 'good, better, best' talk. It was actually really hard to prepare because I felt like I was preaching to the choir. But, it was neat to see how the spirit carried the topic into submitting to and following the Lord's will and how that will lead us to make the best decisions. I believe that we really will be blessed for being obedient and working hard, but it won't always be in the way we want, or even expect.The feeling of peace knowing that I did all I could do is the greatest feeling.

We met a new investigator on chat! I can't remember if we already talked about her. Her name is Brittany. Actually when she came on chat, I was really skeptical. Her name on the chat was Sally Shireman. Poeple never put their first and last name. And when we take chats, we can see what the people are typing as they type it, but they don't know that. So when Brittany was typing, she kept typing and then she would erase it and type something else totally different. Usually, that means the person is just messing around. She said that her friend is a member and when she was asking her questions she told her to come tomormon.org and to talk with missionaries. When we asked if she had ever been to church with her friend, she said, "Well I have considered going to church with her but I am confused about certain beliefs, like the baptism for the dead, why your not allowed to drink caffeine, how can I know that the book of Mormon is true to what God wants" These questions are like typical time-waster questions. Not all the time, but when they're all together like that, it's usually a member who is just messing with us, or missionaries trying to be funny, something like that. Usually when I think it's someone wasting our time I will say something like, these are great questions, could we cal you right now to answer them? And those who are not sincere will always say something like, oh I don't have a phone or, no, I'd rather chat, etc. And when I asked her that, she said, I'm out of minutes on my phone. I knew that was bogus haha. I thought she was a member but we kept responding and trying to do our best to give answers according to the spirit. Eventually the conversation got better and better. I tried to take those questions and take them in a direction where we could teach about baptism. We started talking about eternal families and how her family can be together forever. She said that's what she really wants for her family. We talked about some other things like Prophets and some other principles. She said she was going to have missionaries come over so we just told her that the missionaries will come and share more information with her and that they will invite her to do some things that will build her faith and give her a chance to learn the information for herself. We asked her that when she does that, and she prays about what they share with her and her prayers are answered, will she be baptized? She said she was already baptized. She started asking questions about Adam and Eve, but we didn't want to move on. We asked her, what if you could add to your experience with your baptism? She said it would never hurt to add, but wasn't sure what she could add. We talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost, and how Christ taught that we have to both be baptized by the proper authority AND receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost in order for us to truly be baptized. After we taught about the Priesthood, we explained the Gift of the Holy Ghost and how special it is and what He does, how He can be with us 24/7. She said: "I have felt the holy spirit before, but I know that it's not always there, a big reason I believe it leaves me is because I am a smoker, and I am having trouble giving it up." We talked about how she can overcome that and be worthy of the Holy Ghost. We had to go, and we asked if we could continue to teach her and she said yes, and surprisingly quickly left her number AND said, "also my name is Brittany, I was a little skeptical at first so I used a different name, I don't like to be to trusting over the internet." I think she was honestly seeking, but she was just a little scared. We've been teaching her since, and she really likes the teachings of the church, especially eternal families, she just has some concerns she has to get through. I am still a little skeptical sometimes because it was a little weird using a different name and changing her answers, but I will always give the befit of the doubt because this is important. This is the Gospel, and I want her to have it. I would really regret it if I never talked to her and found out after that she had been sincere. It's taught me a lesson that even if people come online and they change their answers or use a bogus name, I should keep talking with them. You just never know what could happen. I could have lost out on an awesome investigator, a future eternal family.

This brings me to a cool story I wanted to share. Two of the departing Sisters that were in the same zone were previewing the church's FamilySearch Discovery Center exhibit here in the JSMB. It shows your family's ancestry and the converts and how they were converted. Well, these two sisters were checking out their family history. One of them pulled up their 4th Great-Grandfather who was a member of the church and had served a mission. The other pulled up her own 4th Great Grandfather, and as they looked at each other, they realized that the one Sister's 4th Great Grandfather had converted the other. He also helped them come to America. So without him serving a mission, the other wouldn't have been baptized, and the Sister probably wouldn't be in America and certainly wouldn't have come on a mission. I'm sure he didn't think he made that big of an impact but really, we just never know! I think we make bigger impacts than we know as members of the church. You just never know what could happen. That's why we should always open our mouths! Like I said at the beginning, we can't expect to see huge things come from it, but Heavenly Father will reward our efforts in some way, even if it's over generations of time!

So remember that this week and open your mouth because you just never know :)

Love you, have a great week!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Such a good week!


This week was great!

The Square has been super quiet but we actually had time to find and teach and we are so happy about that.

I want to tell you about our experiences this week:

First, we talked to Tim. He is doing better. Last week, he wasn't feeling good and had to be rushed to the hospital because his heart was racing at 270 beats per minute. They ran some tests after slowing it down and discovered his calcium and magnesuim levels were at zero, and when that happens, the heart rate fluctuates. He hasn't been able to go to church lately because he's been so sick, so his ward has been bringing him the sacrament. We talked with him about reading the scriptures daily and continuing to pray daily. He also told us that he just got paperwork for him to be put on the transplant list for new kidneys! So that will be really cool when that happens.

On Friday, we were running around trying to open up all the buildings before 9 AM. A set of sisters had asked us to cover a desk assignment for them that day, or so I thought, so after we opened the buildings, we went to that desk. Right after that, this man walked in to get a map. We talked with him for a little bit. His name is Victor, he's from China but lives in Ohio (ah the best!). He was on vacation with his friends and didn't have a lot of time to talk but he wanted to learn more and became a new investigator. Then he had to go to meet his friends. After that, my companion asked why we were there. I said that we were covering for another set of sisters, but realized there were some already there. She reminded me that we were covering on Sunday, not Friday. I guess I messed up with that because we really needed to meet Victor! Haha

On Saturday, we were taking some chats. We accepted one from a lady named Sally. She told us that she had some questions about the church because her friend is a Mormon and had directed her to mormon.org. We began to answer her questions and ask some of our own. She said she is Christian and that she has a young family. We talked about the temple and how we believe we can be with our families forever. She said that's what I want for my family! Then we talked about baptism and she said she was already baptized in another church. We asked her, well what if you could add to the experience you had? We taught her about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and how Christ taught that we must be born of water and of the spirit, and how baptism isn't complete until we get the Holy Ghost, and how much of a blessing that is. She immediately said that that's what she wants. I was starting to feel optimistic because lately it just seems like everyone we chat with is insincere or anti. We asked if we could call her and teach her more and she said yes! I would love that. She gave her phone number and said, actually my name is Brittany. I didn't feel comfortable sharing my information with someone i didn't know. At first I was like what! But then I thought about it. The internet is pretty crazy and I don't blame her. Then I was super grateful because that meant that she felt so comfortable with us that she wanted to give her phone number and her real name. We actually called her today and thankfully she answered. But she said she was picking up her son from school and we set an appointment for tomorrow. We are hoping it will go well! We want to share about the plan of salvation and help her to start her goal of her family being together for eternity.

We also chatted with a guy named Bruce. He had questions about eternal progression. He had a friend who is LDS and was answering his questions and taught him about the Kingdoms of Glory. He was wondering what decides where a person goes. For some reason we felt inspiried to talk about prophets. We asked him if he thought there could be a prophet today and he said yeah, but how would I know if they are really a prophet? So we asked him, how he expected to know, and he brought up the fruits of the spirit, which is exactly what we were going to share! We then gave him the talk "I Will Not Fail Thee, Nor Forsake Thee" by President Monson to read/watch. He said he would gladly do it, and also said we could call him to see how he liked it. We tried to call him last night to see what he thought, but he didn't answer. We're hoping to get a hold of him this week.

We took these three great people from Ohio (ah the best again!) around on a tour. An older couple and their son. They came for a conference. They weren't very open, but we built a really good friendship with them. We took them to the Tabernacle, showed them the Temple Model and ahd a long talk about the Temple, and took them to the Statue of Christ. I know they felt the spirit! They had millions of questions and we did our best to answer them through the Spirit. We also talked about connections with Columbus and the things that they had heard about the church through member friends years ago. We even shared the experience about the Seagulls the early Pioneers had. After testifying of the Savior and one more time testifying of how it's through Christ that we can go to the Temple where we can be sealed with our families for eternity, we asked them if they would like to have a Book of Mormon and learn more. The spirit was there. The dad blatantly said, 'no. I don't care for that at all.' There was no, 'sorry if this offends you,' or 'thanks for the offer,' or 'no thank you' but straight up, 'no I don't care for that at all.' Later upon reflecting on this, I realized that I have changed. At the beginning of the mission, if that had happened I probably would have been annoyed or upset or even mad that not only did they not want to learn more after feeling the spirit, but they were rude about it. But this time, I just felt calm. We just said okay and expressed our gratitude for them coming and that we were able to take them around. Inside, I didn't feel mad, I just felt it was okay, because either he wasn't ready, or he was choosing not to be ready. But the assurance in my heart of knowing we did all we could do reminded me to be like Christ. It was cool for me to look back and see how I would have reacted before and how I reacted this time. It wasn't that I didn't care now, it's that I trust Heavenly Father, and simply want to do His will. I know I have SO much more changing to do, but that's why the Atonement is so great. I'm just so glad that missions don't end when we go home and get released. Because of the Temple, we've all made covenants that will hold us accountable for being lifelong missionaries. I pray that this family will accept the gospel, and hope this was one step closer for them to do so.

We talked to some really great people this week and hopefully planted some seeds that will grow into trees of life for them :)

This week I re-read the article in the January Ensign about President Benson. I've always wanted to learn more about him. I love this article in the ensign! It's such a cool story about how he and his wife worked together in all things. We learn from the scriptures that unity is a huge thing. It's apparent in the Godhead and we know that our goal is to become like God, so we should also be unified, especially with an eternal companion. If you haven't already, you should go read it! Here is a link for it!

We are looking forward to having some solid days of missionary work in the next few days before we have to make the new transfer schedules (pray for me haha just kidding). But I'm so excited this is the last time I have to do it! I love being in this assignment, I really think it's exactly what I needed, but I'm really looking forward to next transfer being able to focus on finding and teaching and that's all!

Well I hope you have the best week ever, love you!

Monday, January 5, 2015

We're so Blessed!


This week has been pretty eventful.

We finished making schedules! We're so happy about that. But, we'll have to start new ones next week for the new transfer. So we just won't think about that! haha

We have loved being able to go up on the square this week. We've had some great experiences talking to members and non-members, visitors from around the world.

Unfortunately, we had to drop Paul. We kept receiving Anti-mormon material in the form of "questions" from him, and after attempts to answer his questions and to try to get him to start over with the church, learn from the beginning and stay off the internet, he wasn't willing. His heart is pretty hard so sadly we haven't talked to him since. We really pray for him still, and have faith and hope that he will embrace the Gospel in the future. It's just so sad because he has been so prepared! Heavenly Father has been communicating with him but he isn't willing to listen to Him, he would rather listen to man.

Lauren has been in the hospital with her husband after a bad strain of the flu. We're looking forward to talking with her this week though! We hope her baby is doing okay.

On Saturday, we talked with a Chinese family from New York who came to ski. As soon as I saw them, they were just special to me. They said they had had a tour at the Conference Center and they were told they could get a Book of Mormon so they wanted to come get one. I grabbed them a copy in Mandarin and English and they expressed how excited they are to read it. I didn't want them to leave without them knowing how we feel about the Book of Mormon, so we testified of the truthfulness of it, and how we know it can help them as a family because it helps my family. We talked to them about eternal families and how God loves them and wants them to be together forever. The spirit was so strong. They asked questions and expressed how they have never had a religion before and for that reason, they were looking forward to learn more. They didn't want to give their number but they wanted ours so we wrote it down for them and they left. That part of this mission is hard! But that's a part of any mission. Planting seeds is definitely not as great as harvesting seeds, but in order to harvest a seed, someone had to plant it. So the missionaries that get to harvest that seed of that family in New York are so lucky!

Today I was talking to a couple in the North Visitor's Center. They were visiting from out-of-state and were wondering how they enter the temple. I asked if they were members of the church and they said no. We explained how special the Temple is and why, and how even members of the church have to prepare to enter. The spirit was strong. But their response was unexpectedly rude. They were upset that they could go to big churches in other countries but they can't go to the temple here. They walked away angry. At first I was really sad. Sad that they wouldn't listen to the spirit, and sad that they didn't respect the temple. I still feel sad for them, but after thinking about it more, I feel gratitude. I am so grateful for the Temple, and that we don't let just anyone in. I am so glad we take the preparation to ensure we are worthy to enter the House of the Lord. All of us that have been in the Temple know the joy that comes from being able to make covenants with our Heavenly Father. And we all know what we would feel like if we were inside and not worthy. At least I do, I feel that I would feel awful and would want to leave. That's how it is going to be after we pass from this life. The three kingdoms of glory are designed for us. If we make bad choices, we won't feel good in the Celestial Kingdom. We'd be saying, get me out of here. I think that's why we don't just have 'Heaven or Hell.' Heavenly Father loves us too much. In reality, we are the ones that decide where we end up. Yes, there is a final judgement, but I think we will know pretty well where we are going because of the choices we make according to the knowledge we've received. Just like Heavenly Father wants all of His children back in His presence in the Celestial Kingdom, He also wants all of us in His house, the Temple. And He's given us clear guidelines of what we need to do to enter. They're not that hard. All it comes down to is loving the Lord Jesus Christ. Because like one of the most known scriptures says, if we love Him, we'll keep His commandments. And if we're keeping His commandments (all of them, especially the ones that have been restored), we are not only able to enter the Temple, but we'll be more prepared to enter back into His presence. The Temple really is the best place on earth. I am grateful for the experience that I had this morning because it produced this long train of thought. Haha

I'm so grateful for this Restored Gospel! I feel so happy that Heavenly Father can speak with us, and we can clearly know His plan for us, even if the situations aren't as clear. I LOVE being a missionary!! Choose to be a missionary this week, it's the best feeling in the world.

Have a great week!!

P.s. I forgot to send the picture of us on Christmas. Also, there's a picture of our "family tree" of Temple Square coordinators that hangs in our office. It's just meant to be silly haha.